Moonlight – Director’s Cut – aka Deleted Scene
One of the big questions most authors get is, did your editor make you change your book once you signed the contract?
The answer sounds wishy-washy, but the truth is, yes and no.
If you’re lucky, a good editor will see beyond the scenes that are already there, to see what might make the book stronger. In the case of MOONLIGHT, I ended up deleting a scene and writing a new one near the beginning. Originally, I had this scene the next morning after Lana had shifted into a jaguar.
There was nothing wrong with the scene. I liked how it brought out the West Side Story feel of the werewolves versus the jaguars, but my editor at the time wanted to know how this “mate thing” was affecting Adam. The night before, he’d touched her hand and discovered Lana, a jaguar and therefore enemy of his Pack was his mate.
In the end, she was right and I wrote a new scene where they stopped for donuts and it allowed me to have it in Adam’s point of view and we can feel his uneasiness with the wolf’s aggression and possessiveness toward Lana.
I was bummed this scene had to go, but sometimes it’s the right thing for the book…
Without further ado… Here is the breakfast scene that never was from MOONLIGHT.
Deleted Scene –
“So are you going to let me buy you breakfast?” he asked.
“You don’t have to do that.” I reached to pat my back pocket. My wallet was still tucked inside. “I can take care of it.”
Adam caught my arm, turning me toward him. My brain was demanding that I walk away. He told me himself I was in danger here from his Pack, not to mention the other people I’d seen following me. It was past time to move on to the next city.
But I looked up into his eyes before I could stop myself.
“I know I don’t have to.” His lips curled into a dangerous, sexy grin. “I want to. That’s why I offered.”
Why did he have to be so handsome? Was I gnawing my lower lip again? I probably was because Adam smiled.
I sighed. “Fine. But then I really need to get going.”
“Why are you so anxious to leave?”
I thought about lying. I even opened my mouth to dump one out, but what was the point? He knew my big secret. Hell, he was the one who told me what it was.
“Ready for some breakfast?”
“Sorry, I’m not good at…”
He raised a brow. “Talking?”
“Hey!” I gave him a hard nudge. “I meant sharing personal stuff.”
“So I’ve noticed.” He gave my hand a squeeze and then let go to open the door. “Hope you’re hungry.”
I stepped inside and almost moaned as the scent of bacon and waffles and sausage teased my senses. My stomach grumbled in reply. Oh yeah, I was definitely hungry. The hostess led us through a catacomb of tables until she reached our final destination, a booth in the back corner.
‘Come on Eileen’ was playing in the background and I tapped my finger against the table with the beat as I looked over the menu. “So what do you recommend?”
Adam shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never been here before.”
“Oh, I just assumed…”
“I can’t take you to any of my usual restaurants. The Pack might see us together, and they’d catch your scent in a heartbeat.”
The Pack. I’d forgotten about them.
“So they wouldn’t like seeing you with a…” I hesitated. I couldn’t say it. “A girl like me?”
Adam met my eyes and lowered his voice. “Look Lana, the only jaguars we’ve ever run into were bloodthirsty killers. The Pack would smell the cat in you and assume you were the same.”
“So they’re racists.”
He blinked and frowned. “No, they’re not… I’m just trying to protect you.”
“They don’t even know me, but you think they’d kill me on sight because of the way I smell? That’s beyond racist, it’s insane.”
“I don’t think they’d kill you, but they’d want you to get out of town.”
I glanced over the menu again. “I’m planning on leaving town anyway.”
He reached across and closed my menu, his green eyes demanding my full attention. “I’m not ready to let you go yet.”
I sighed. No one should be allowed to have eyes that green. “What do you want from me?”
“I don’t want anything.” He shrugged his broad shoulders. “I’d like to spend a little more time with you, that’s all.”
For a moment my heart leapt at the thought that this hunk of a man with the most amazing smile I’d ever seen wanted to spend time with me. But before I could open my mouth, my brain started to function again. Just because he wanted to be with me, didn’t mean I would be safe. Between the threat of being locked away in a mental institution or hunted by a pack of angry werewolves, getting out of town was a no-brainer.
But it was nice to know he wanted me to stay.
I looked down at my hands. “It’d be nice to stay, but you said it yourself; if the other wolves in your Pack find out they’ll make me leave. Or worse.”
“They don’t have to know you’re here.”
The waitress interrupted us, and I couldn’t help but smile. For the second time, a waitress saved me from Adam at just the right moment. She took our orders, told me how lucky I was to stay so slim with such a healthy appetite, and then collected our menus and headed off toward the kitchen.
“There’s so much you still need to learn about what you are.” He paused and took a drink of his water, then met my eyes. “I could help you.”
Now that was tempting. Like the rest of him wasn’t? What was I doing? I couldn’t stay here. Could I? While I mulled over his offer, the filter between my brain and my mouth vanished. “Why are you being so nice to me?”
“I’ve never met anyone like you before.”
“Oh that’s a good one.” I took a sip from my water glass. “Does that usually work with the women you date?”
“God, you’re a pain in the ass.” He sat back on his side of the booth resting his forearms on the table in front of him. “Yes, I can be smooth when I need to be, but this isn’t it. This is just me wanting to be with you.” He shook his head. “I wish I knew why I cared, because I’ve never had to work this hard to get a woman to spend time with me. I don’t know why I keep trying.”
Now I felt bad. I took another drink of water and tried to organize my thoughts. Adam never stopped staring at me, but he also didn’t try to get me to talk. The awkward silence dragged on until our food arrived. I lifted my fork and finally looked over at him.
“I don’t mean to be… difficult. All of this is a lot for me to take in. In fact, part of me is still wondering if I’m dreaming.” I waited for him to jump in and say something, preferably that he understood, or maybe to tell me I was worth all the trouble. Anything at this point. When it was clear he wasn’t going to let me off the hook, I added, “Thank you for helping me last night.”
He nodded and started to eat his meal. The minute I took a bite, my appetite took over. While I made quick work of my eggs and pancakes, couples talked and laughed around us. They all looked so happy. I knew in reality not everyone was, but I’d been alone for so long that I often watched couples with hungry greedy eyes, wanting that illusive feeling of unity, of being someone’s most favorite person in the world.
I’d never felt it before, so the simplest solution was to decide it didn’t really exist. It can’t hurt you if it’s not real.
But now I was sitting across the table from a gorgeous guy who could have taken my wallet while I was running around the darkness as a cat. In fact, he could have called his buddies and probably killed me if he wanted to. He didn’t. He helped me without asking for anything in return.
I trembled at the thought. Hope was a terrifying emotion.
He slid his hand across the table toward me, palm up. For a moment I only stared at his gesture, but finally I found myself bringing my own hand up and placing it in his. He held my hand and smiled.
Hope you enjoyed the deleted scene! And if you haven’t read MOONLIGHT yet, these are the final days to grab a free eBook copy…Thanks for all your support for the Moon Series! ~Lisa
About Lisa Kessler:
Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.
Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.